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London’s Restaurant Industry Backs Syrian Children’s Charity for a Second Year

#CookForSyria returns at the beginning of November

Best restaurants in Vauxhall London: Brunswick House
Brunswick House
Ola Smit

Next month sees the Cook For Syria charity campaign enter its second year. During the month of November, chefs, café owners and bakers around the UK will put a “Syrian-inspired twist” on an existing dish or, indeed, create a completely new one. Each time it is served/sold, £2 will be donated to Unicef UK's Children of Syria Fund.

Lyle’s will serve raw mutton, roast mutton skin, pomegranate, yoghurt, sumac, Aleppo chilli and freekeh; Bubbledogs are doing a special Cook For Syria dog with spiced lamb, muhammara and yoghurt; and Smokestak have come up with za'atar-crusted brisket with Syrian-style salad, pickled cucumber yoghurt and harissa on flatbread. Dozens more London restaurants are participating, including Koya Bar, Jikoni, Palatino, Ikoyi, som saa, Salon Brixton, Kricket, Black Axe Mangal and Brunswick House.

Last month, #CookForSyria was recognised as Best Ethical Food Project at the Observer Food Monthly Awards. The initiative, founded in 2016 by social media influencer Clerkenwell Boy, Suitcase Magazine CEO Serena Guen and London restaurant PR Gemma Bell, has inspired volunteer-led charity supper clubs in cities including London, Edinburgh, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, San Francisco and Melbourne. It has raised a total of £350,000 (and counting) so far. Its aim is not only to raise money, but also to “preserve and celebrate Syrian culture amid one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time.”

As well as all the restaurant partnerships, a one-off fundraising dinner will be held at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond on Thursday 9 November, cooked by Petersham chef Damian Clisby and Simon Whitley of newly opened Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden, alongside Syrian restaurant entrepreneur Imad Alarnab, who ran several restaurants, juice bars and café before he was forced to flee with his family. To reserve tickets for the candlelit Syrian-inspired feast, visit Eventbrite.

Finally, the #BakeForSyria event, a spin-off event that took place on Columbia Road earlier this year, will take place again at newly revamped Old Spitalfields Market on Saturday 18 November. Taking part are Violet Bakery, Bread Ahead, Fatties Bakery, Melissa Hemsley, Dominique Ansel and Bake for Syria event founder Lily Vanilli.


19-21 Blandford Street, , England W1U 3DH 020 7034 1988 Visit Website

Brunswick House

30 Wandsworth Road, , England SW8 2LG 020 7720 2926 Visit Website

Black Axe Mangal

156 Canonbury Road, , England N1 2UP Visit Website

som saa

43A Commercial Street, , England E1 6BD 020 7324 7790 Visit Website


1 Saint James's Market, , England SW1Y 4AH 020 3583 4660 Visit Website


18 Market Row, , England SW9 8LD 020 7501 9152 Visit Website


12 Denman Street, , W1D 7HH 020 7734 5612 Visit Website


71 Central Street, , England EC1V 8AB 020 3481 5300 Visit Website


47 Wilton Way, , England E8 3ED 020 7275 8360 Visit Website

Koya Bar

50 Frith St, Soho, Greater London W1D 4SQ +44 20 7434 4463 Visit Website


35 Sclater Street, , England E1 6LB 020 3873 1733 Visit Website